'Marvel of an Accidental Rightness': The Golden Bowl and Economic Exposure
Indian Journal of American Studies, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 89-98, Winter 1991
11 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2009
Date Written: December 1, 1991
The commodity basis of The Colden Bowl reflects a historical distinction commonly made in American studies between elite and popular media - the so-called "Highbrow/Lowbrow" distinction derived from phrenological and racist taxonomies in the nineteenth century. The Golden Bowl is a novel written from the perspective of the insufferably rich whose entire existence is made possible only by their separation from the necessity of producing things (distinguishing this novel from the dozens of proletarian novels that see humans as components in a capitalist machine). In the parlor-room world of this novel, the commodity and the human are indirectly but thoroughly implicated by those who promote capitalism.
Keywords: Henry James, Capitalism, proletariat
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